Networking The New Way

business of furniture Jul 15, 2020

Networking the New Way

How professional relationships have changed and how to make them work for you 

Currently 20 million people are unemployed in the U.S.,  and if I asked any one of you, I’m sure you personally know 5 or more people that are job searching right now. And if you’re like me, you want to help them in some way, right?   

But how? The job market is soft, layoffs are continuing, and companies around the world have instituted hiring freezes. However, believe it or not, some industries are thriving right now, and those companies ARE hiring! So, how can you beat unemployment right now? The answer is simple — good, old fashioned networking (with the help of some 21st century, Covid-appropriate technology, of course). 

Networking is changing because of COVID — quarantine is still a necessity for some and may be a reality for a long time, the lockdown has closed several businesses and halted entire industries, and...

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Innovation

business of furniture Jul 08, 2020

Innovation is HERE

How to embrace innovation in your business 

One of the many things our industry is known for is innovation — we’re constantly adapting and evolving the ways people work, how spaces are built, designed, and furnished, all with the goal of increased productivity and employee engagement for our clients. Innovation is a necessity in our industry. 

Think about it for just a minute, what are some of the most recent innovations in our industry?  Which pivot has impacted you and your business the most? Was it a product, program, process, technology, manufacturing switch, or something else? 

I’ve been in the industry for nearly 30 years, and I can confirm that the innovation just keeps getting faster, better, and more customer-focused each year. For me, most of my favorite innovations are in the product category, which is perfect, since I’m a self-proclaimed product junkie — and you’d have to admit, there have been...

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2020 Cancelled?

business of furniture Jun 24, 2020

2020 Cancelled?

One of the toughest years could be your best year 

It started out as a great year. The economy was rolling, the stock market was breaking records daily, unemployment was at its lowest. People, the economy, business — everything was thriving. We were riding the wave, spending money, having fun, and living our best (or so we thought) life! 

Then it all stopped — as if in slow motion, everything we knew, loved, and enjoyed came to a screeching halt. We were in lock down. What started out as a few weeks, turned into months — and for some, quarantine isn’t over yet. People lost their jobs, businesses have closed, the economy sank… and more. All right before our eyes. 

Then, things started to get cancelled. I could list all the cancellations, but that would take up way too much space in this column and, you’d get bored reading it — not to mention, you’ve lived the cancellations! Weddings, graduations,...

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H.O.P.E

business of furniture Jun 04, 2020

HOPE

Another meaning to one of the most overused words in the world

When I did a Google Search of the word “hope”, I got 2.7 Billion hits in 0.64 seconds - I’d say that’s an indication that it’s a popular word and likely one of the most overused words in the world today.  The dictionary defines hope (a noun) as a “feeling of expectation and desire for a certain this to happen” — especially focused on good things! We all need hope, and we all need good things to happen in our lives. 

One of my favorite quotes is by Christopher Reeve, who said, “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible,” and it’s so true. Hope is a feeling, an emotion, momentum that changes our mindset and helps keep us focused in the right direction. And as Reeve’s said — once we choose it, anything is possible. 

But in the current situation it can be hard to have hope, especially if you are one of the many people that...

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Stop Playing Small

business of furniture May 27, 2020

Stop Playing Small

Do you have what it takes to make it happen? 

“There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the you are capable of living” - Nelson Mandela 

These words are so true! And spoken by someone that certainly did not have an easy path, but kept going and going, and he had an enormous impact on the world. 

The reality is, success does not happen without risk! You have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, to step up and define your own path so you can create the success you want and need. And it all starts with risk. This doesn’t mean that you have to “risk it all,” it just means that you have to take some risk — and honestly, when you think about it, there is risk in everything we do. 

Taking risk means doing something you’ve never done before, especially something that you don’t know how to do. It means exposing yourself to the criticism of...

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We're All In This Together

business of furniture May 17, 2020

We’re All In This Together

It costs you nothing to be kind and generous 

I know, this phrase has been way overused in the past several weeks — but it’s true! We are all in this together — but we’re also separate. We’re all adjusting to the new norm, at our own pace in our own way, and we’re all experiencing this in different ways. Some of us are doing it with our family and friends, and others are doing it alone. 

We are all trying to survive and thrive as the world around us changes minute by minute. It’s not easy! We’re trying to work from home and be productive, even as we’ve been forced to become home school teachers overnight, function as full-time parents, and lost virtually all connection to the outside world — all while trying to maintain good relationships, still be good friends, and much more all at the same time! That’s a lot to swallow. 

Each of us has a different story of how the...

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The Power of Conversation

business of furniture Apr 22, 2020

The Power of Conversations

Reflections of my lunch with an industry leader

 A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch (and some wine) with Jerry Lohr, the founder of J.Lohr Vineyards & Wines, while I was in Paso Robles, California for a few days.  It was one of the most informative and inspiring conversations I’ve ever had! 

Over 50 years ago, Jerry embarked on a career change and the results of this change have a lasting impact on his family, their community and the world of wine.  Jerry is one of the pioneers of developing the Central Coast wine region and lead the way for making this one of the most prominidate areas to grow and produce wine - specifically Cabernet Sauvignon. 

While this column is not about J.Lohr Wines, I want to set the stage for you.  Jerry is in his 80’s, he works everyday and is active in the continuing growth of a multi-million dollar company - one of the largest in the world and an industry leader,...

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April 2020

business of furniture Apr 15, 2020

April 2020

How will this month define you?

 It’s 4:30 am as I write this column, which seems to be my new norm. Up around 3:30 am, take the dogs out, make some coffee then head into my office to work.  Sometimes I read or listen to a podcast, work on business plans and ideas, email, or sometimes I just sit in silence. 

This morning I read an article written by my college roommate and long time friend, Joe. In his article, “What Can Be?” he shares his belief that what we are all going through right now is a “defining moment in our history” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a defining moment, not just in our history, but in our lives. 

In one year, when you look back to April 2020, what will you see?  What will you remember?  What will your family, children, friends, colleagues and clients remember, about you?  Just for a moment, ponder this question. 

Who are you going to be?

Do I want to get up at 3:30...

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5X Connection

business of furniture Apr 08, 2020

5X Connection

Developing and Increasing Meaningful Connections in a time of crisis

No doubt the world we live and work in has been turned upside down over the past few weeks!  Our offices and showrooms are closed, we’re working from home, our manufacturers are closed, our friends and colleagues are being laid off or furloughed, and our customers are slowing their projects or cancelling them all together. None of us really know when this is going to slow down, much less end — we are not in control, and that’s a scary feeling. 

But there are a few things you can control — your attitude, your mindset, and your actions! 

Now is not the time to sell (with a few exceptions, and I mean very few) — customers aren’t interested in your latest product introduction, your new finishes or your high quality, low cost task chair  — customers are focused on their health and well being and that of their coworkers, family, and friends. They...

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How to Become Recognized as a Leader in your Company

business of furniture Mar 18, 2020

Reflections from a coaching conversation

A few weeks ago, I was wrapping up a 6-month coaching engagement with a client who is new to his role and somewhat new to our industry.  This purpose of our final call together was to talk about his progress, learnings and his plan moving forward.  

Why am I writing about this? Well, this was one of the best wrap up calls I’ve ever had! I’m super impressed and blown away by the monumental progress he made during our time together and his continued commitment to learn and grow. Without a doubt, one of the best parts of my job as a coach is witnessing growth in my clients because they are the ones who make it happen, I just help them along the way.

At the end of our wrap up calls, clients get to ask me questions (finally) and put me on the spot for information (or in this caseguidance). I really enjoy the questions, and I get the opportunity to share my many years of experience and learning with them...

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